Alex Payne

Writer, backer, erstwhile technologist.

Obligatory Post-Stevenote Commentary

June.

It’s a ways away, but not too long to wait for someone to finally fix mobile phones and get convergence devices right.

The delay itself is not nearly as irksome as what it opens the door for: ignorant speculation, potential FCC screw-ups, shipping delays, parts scarcity. In short, there’s room for the sort of unpleasant launch experience that consumers endured with the recent game consoles. Cingular, in particular, seems like a weak link in Apple trying to provide their usual seamless consumer experience.

Not to mention all the tiresome conversations that are sure to bog down blogs and cafe conversations alike: “it’s too expensive, it doesn’t hold enough music, I don’t like Cingular, it doesn’t have enough battery life.” It’s not that these complaints are without merit, but they don’t matter in the face of what’s just happened.

The Motorolas and Nokias of the world can’t get away with miserable interfaces and pathetic functionality anymore. Nobody can. Every phone on the market until the iPhone’s release is irrelevant. Whether you’re actually going to buy an iPhone or not, it means that phones are going to get better. That’s way bigger than whether 8GB is enough music for you. It raises the bar on an entire market.

The thing I’m most curious about regarding the iPhone is support for third party development. The thing runs a mini OS X and that’s a lot of power and development flexibility. My wild ass prediction: Dashcode will be the development platform for the iPhone. Widgets appear to be first-class applications in the iPhone’s interface, and I think that’s telling.

See? Speculation. Ignorant. So what else?

I don’t care about the Apple TV. The only reason we have a TV is for the Wii. As soon as I can hook that up to my Cinema Display the TV is history. I don’t buy DRM’d content and I don’t enjoy the iTunes Music Store. I like the look of the new AirPort Extreme they’re pitching with the Apple TV but my (relatively new) MacBook Pro doesn’t support it and doesn’t qualify for a firmware update.

I wasn’t in the least bit surprised about the lack of other hardware announcements, but the total lack of news about Leopard was odd. I was figuring we’d hear about some of those mystery features Steve hinted at back during WWDC, but no.

There’s just not that much more to talk about for the time being, which is weird. The Stevenote was just so iPhone-dominated, and the iPhone is just so not-here-yet. It’s like landing a hot date: you’re happy about it but really nervous that it’s going to go badly so you just don’t want to talk about it.